Friday, September 30, 2011

A is for Apple, B is for Bushel

and C is for CRAZY, CRAZY Week!

 Apples are in big time right now so I did what any woman with a ton of kids  little spare time would do. I bought 2 bushels.
 Who can resist fresh apple sauce and apple pie? Anyone???? Didn't think so.
 I made it easier on myself by freezing the applesauce versus canning it all. Yeah, it was much easier and it thaws out great.
 The pies? Well I made 8 of them and baked one right away. The others are wrapped with plastic wrap and then foil and tucked deep into my freezer for a cold winter day when we are craving the goodness but have little time for the work.
 If you pass one over to a friend or neighbor as a gift, they will call you one day expressing their love for you and the apple pie that made their Sunday dinner complete. Trust me!
 Here's my secret recipe:
Apple Pie
1 pie crust
6 apples peeled and sliced
1/2 TB apple pie spice (use cinnamon if you do not want to buy any)
1 C sugar, divided
1/2 C flour, divided
1/4 C butter, softened

Put your crust in pie dish and crimp those sides down. Place apples in bowl and mix in 1/2 C sugar, the apple pie spice, and 2 TB flour. Stir them all up together and place in pie crust. In separate bowl combine butter and remaining sugar and flour with a fork until crumbly. Sprinkle this on top of apples.  Place pie in paper bag to cook. (you can use those ice cream bags at the freezer section of the store). Roll the end of the bag so it is closed and bake pie IN THE BAG at 375 for about an hour. Carefully remove from oven and then from bag. Allow to cool some before digging in with  a fork. You might even put a slice on a plate with some ice cream a la mode!
You can wrap the un-baked pie with foil and freeze up to 3 months. Allow to thaw slightly before baking.

In other happenings, Zeb has been quite the little boy this week.
I noticed he was carrying around his sister's lip glosses all day. I asked him why and he said "my flies."

Apparently those lip gloss containers make great bug holders, as Zeb put flies in them and smooshed them to the bottom. Nice.

Last night I was trying to get out the door to attend a hand embroidery class when the little man smashed his finger in the front door.

I will spare the ugly picture and just say that we are ever so thankful his daddy was working in the ER so he could get his finger stitched up quickly. I am afraid to guess what the weekend has in store:-)

My big girls are sleeping at a cousins house tonight so after I drove them to her house I headed back with only my youngest 5.
Let's see....... crazy week, fussy baby, fewer kids, and long drive home can only mean one thing for this tired mamma!

Fast food for dinner! Yep, the dinner of champions! You know what this wheat grinding, bread baking, make it from scratch woman thinks about it?

Thank goodness we have the option to drive through every now and then. saved me from a couple of gray hairs tonight! It also gives me a wee bit more free time to do things like sew...

I put together a couple quick table runners from a charm pack I bought at the quilt store. I might be in love with this quilt pattern now. It's very versatile. Oh, and the class lastnight? I made it for the last hour and was thrilled. I can now hand embroider.
Well, I have the confidence to try, so I am starting a kitchen towel tonight. I have, in fact, several projects going at once. It is a wee it distracting at times, but at other times it gives me the freedom to move from one project to the next and not get bored. (I can justify it many ways:-)

Gosh, you guys are awesome voting for me! Please vote again...for just a few more days! I have met many wonderful women this week through Circle of Moms and that is AWESOME! I am amazed at the talent and kindness out there across the web, absolutely astounding!

What is on your agenda this weekend? I am going to sew, I hope, and keep my house from getting totally trashed by my young children.

The weather is cooling off and I really need to go through bee hives and make sure they are all ready for winter. Maybe Sunday? We will see.

Have a happy weekend! I hope it makes you smile!

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

I Am Woman, Hear Me Roar!

I gotta get it off my chest, seriously. What is with all the bashing of women I see and read about and hear? It's not men bashing the women either. It's WOMEN bashing OTHER WOMEN! Sheesh!!

Granted, a large portion of the bashing I read about lately is of women who are active in the political arena, but still.......
Here's my opinion, and I am opinionated when it comes to my girlfriends, daughters, sisters, aunts, self...women!

There will always be times when you will disagree with the political stance of a woman or the dancing moves of another, or even the talk show or news column of a fellow female. There will also be times when you despise or don't understand the career choices that another woman might make beuause it is so drastically different from your own.

When you find yourself about to bash another woman for any reason such as these, remember something:
The Suffrage Movement was not all that long ago. Disagree with values or political opinion, but please do not bash the PERSON, the WOMAN!
Before the Suffrage, women had few choices in life and respect was not easy to secure either, especially in the "man's world."

Today, opportunities are much, much greater but still...there are plenty of obstacles still lurking.
There are plenty of successful women I disagree with as far as politics, or wardrobe, and even lifestyle choices are concerned. I do not bash any woman personally , though, and here is why you shouldn't either.
These women are paving the way for our daughters and grand daughters and even great-grand daughters. The choices available to them in life will be far greater than our choices.
That, my friends, is something to celebrate.

We have choices, something that women did not have before Suffrage.
In this great year of 2011, I stay at home and care for my children because I CHOOSE to do so, not because I have to. I am educated, I am smart, I have many choices available. I am woman.
Instead of bashing other women......


Embrace your liberties, and encourage one another.

While I am on the subject of encouragement...
I am happily hanging in the number 16 spot on the Top Family Blog list! Please VOTE FOR ME!
You can vote once a day, and I am so thankful for your support!

Tomorrow....we talk apples!!!!!!

Monday, September 26, 2011

Birthdays: The Big 1 year!

I know at one time, way before I had more than 1 child, birthday parties were celebrated with tons of decorations and party favor bags.

Now that we have 7 children who celebrate birthdays, we have scaled back considerably, but that is not to say the celebration and fun are any less than HUGE!

We always have lots of food and family. In case you are unfortunate and do not belong to a BIG family let me tell you a secret formula.


Fletcher is officially the big one year old tomorrow.

We celebrated Saturday with grandparents, uncles, aunts, cousins and siblings.

Fletcher LOVED his cupcakes...and so did everyone else!

After a quick bath we let him open his presents, or should I say I opened his presents and he played with them. Yes, his siblings and cousins played with them too!

 So it was not the week long planned event we had back in our smaller days but boy it was sure a ton of fun. It's also been a blessing to see this baby grow into a one year old.
 Later this week I will share with you a great use of apples, which are abundant this time of year.
Also, please go and VOTE FOR ME! I am creeping up the list and that makes me thrilled! You can vote once per day! Thank you so much!

Hope your Monday has been rockin' fun!

Friday, September 23, 2011

Peach Poundcake

Today I want to share a wonderful recipe for a most delicious pound cake. My friend Joanna passed it along to me after her daughter shared a piece with me she had made.

Here is what Joanna had to say about this cake," Feel free to share the recipe. My grandmother always kept a peach pound cake in the freezer for church or to take to a new mother or to someone who was sick. She made it so often that we baked several cakes and served them at her funeral visitation and had copies of the recipe for people to take with them."

So here it is...the best cake you have ever tasted. I bet you should make one this weekend.

Peach Pound Cake

1 C butter, softened 
3 C sugar
6 eggs
1/2 C sour cream
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 tsp almond extract
3 C flour
1/4 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
2 C fresh peaches, chopped

Beat butter and sugar until smooth. Beat in eggs one at a time. Add sour cream and extracts. Mix until smooth. Add flour, baking soda and salt and mix until smooth. Stir in peaches. Pour into lightly sprayed bundt pan and bake at 350 for 75 minutes. Cool 10 minutes and turn out of pan. Allow to cool longer before slicing.

Tomorrow we are having a birthday party for Fletcher. I bet it will be tons of fun since all parties with my crew usually are fun.

Thanks a ton for making sure I do not finish last in the Top 25 Large Family Blogs. Remember to vote again...once a day. It would be so groovy to land in the Top 25. You can vote HERE!

Have a great weekend and enjoy that cake!!!!!

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Lather, Rinse, Repeat

I feel like today was "Ground Hog Day." Not the cool day in February when we all wish warmer weather was lurking around the corner, but the movie with Bill Murray. Everything has been done twice around here.
*Leia, the farm goat*
The day started as a day to be productive. I mopped, washed all the towels in the house that were dirty (that equals a bunch o' towels in this house) and decided it would be a great day to catch up on things like make up pancake and muffin mixes for the week. The kids dutifully finished school but then I got distracted.
*Willow being silly*
You see I had this fabulous layer cake that was begging to be pieced into a quilt so I pulled out my sewing machine and got busy sewing.

Here's where it all started. I finished sewing all of the squares together and the border when Zeb needed some milk to drink. Just as I was pouring the milk I spied the baby crawling into the pantry. No biggie, I would grab him in a few seconds. Then after those few seconds the door closed and I heard a noise from inside that pantry. "Oh no! I smell something familiar coming from the pantry!"
 * a mess from my past*
Well, behind my door was a gallon jug of peach melomel (wine). I made it over a year ago and was waiting to buy wine bottles to bottle it so it could ripen another 6 months. There sat my baby in a hug puddle of wine as he continued to pour it out on my floor. One gallon of homemade labor gone.

I yelled for the girls to get "all hands on deck" so we could grab the freshly washed towels to sop up the wine. Indiana changed the baby while the rest of us cleaned the floor.

I washed the towels.....lather, rinse, repeat.

I mopped the floor...lather, rinse, repeat.

I decided I would make more wine next summer when the peaches ripen...lather, rinse, repeat.

I continued to sew. This was when I realized that quilters are crazy people. You see, I sewed 36 blocks together and added a border around those blocks. The next step was to cut it all up into blocks again and sew those back together...lather, rinse, repeat.
* Cutting the first piecing*
Who in their right mind does that????? I do. A. Lot.

Think about that next you see a quilt or your granny gives you one as a gift. That quilter, your crazy.
*The start of the second piecing*

Speaking of CRAZY! I somehow was placed on a vote for Top 25 Family Blogs on Circle of Moms. What crazy cat put me on there? Well, I just discovered this and really do not want to finish last. I am close to the being in that 25 group. Will you vote for me HERE? My picture isn't even on there, but I have no clue how to fix that since I have no clue how I got there....BUT I frequently read A Baker's Dozen and love her. She is currently #2. I actually voted for her several times before discovering I was there too. You can vote once a day. So vote tonight and then tomorrow you can....lather, rinse and repeat!

The positive side of all this mess was that the house smelled deliciously like wine.

You can't find that scent in a Yankee Candle!

Have a groovy night, ya'll!

Sunday, September 18, 2011

When the Crap Hits the Sidewalk

This is a shocking story, not for those who are wimpy or weak of stomach. Nope, this is a tale that I am sorry to say has no actual photos because it happened in the blink of an eye....almost. There is a valuable lesson to be learned too, and I will tell you what that lesson might be. First! Let's begin with the beginning.

 This morning I woke up with a mission to accomplish. It was a most important mission.
 There was a large mountain to climb but I knew I could do it,no matter how steep the cliff!
 You see, this man is off work tomorrow so I am getting a day off! I will be at the quilt store most of the day sewing some pieces of fabric into a lovely new purse.
 But, a day off requires much planning of meals  and folded laundry so that these hooligans (plus a few extra) can just play with dad and nobody need worry about meals or laundry.
 Yep, I woke up this morning ready to kick some butt....and I did. I really and truly did. I went to the grocery store, cooked tomorrow's lunch and dinner. Cooked tonight's dinner, baked cookies, got sewing materials ready and finished 6 loads of laundry completely, as in it is all put away in closets and drawers! I was patting myself on the back when.....
It came out of nowhere and crashed on my head.

This crazy, wild boy was playing outside concocting a plan of gigantic proportions. (cue evil laugh)

 He wasn't out chasing a chicken.
He wasn't spraying animals or siblings with the water hose either. Nope, he was squatting  with his diaper pulled down laying a big one down on the sidewalk. Just like that. Poop.

Not only was I speechless, but the dogs could not believe it either!

Then it occurred to me that this kid just might be READY to potty train, so I did a little dance and headed outside to clean the carnage up only to discover.......

Zelda ate it.

Lesson learned: Never kiss a dog on the mouth!

Here's to a day off for me! What adventure did you have this weekend?

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